Having a baby is a life-changing, joyous event. For those whose baby is born premature or with health complications, it is a time of anguish.
Advances in healthcare and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) have improved morbidity and mortality rates, especially for premature babies, and this has led to longer stays in the hospital. A newborn may not come home for weeks or even months. New parents experience additional stress when the constraints associated with maternity leave, childcare for older siblings and transmitting infections severely limit the amount of time they can spend visiting their child in the NICU. Babies born at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., come from culturally diverse populations with post-partum practices that sometimes restrict or even quarantine new parents after delivery so they can recuperate, creating even more obstacles for them to seeing their hospitalized newborn. (Read More)